Strengthening Relationships with Donors through Pardot

This story originally appeared on Salesforce.org as Strengthening Relationships with Donors through Pardot. To learn more from Shared Hope International, check out How to Make an Impact in Honor of World Day Against Human Trafficking.

For the past 20 years, Shared Hope International has been working to prevent, restore, and bring justice to vulnerable adults and children who have been victimized by sex trafficking. The Shared Hope team consists of only 18 staff members but has managed a global reach, leading prevention strategies, restoration programs and justice initiatives to combat trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.

One of the main ways in which Shared Hope has been able to provide its life-changing services is through the generous support of donors. In 2016, when Shared Hope noticed a declining trend in donor support, it knew it needed a solution to re-engage with its supporters and strengthen its reach within the donor community. By leveraging the power of Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud, Shared Hope has been able to transform its relationship with supporters.

Programs Made Possible by Supporters

Shared Hope’s three-prong approach to battle sex trafficking –awareness and prevention training, restoration and empowerment for victims, and justice through legislative advocacy- is changing the way society recognizes and helps sex trafficking victims. Training equips professionals and advocates in the field with skills to increase the identification of those vulnerable to and exploited by trafficking. A range of restoration services is provided to victims – both directly and through support from other service organizations – that include safe homes, medical care, education, vocational training, therapy, outreach, and intervention services. In addition, a policy team works with legislators around the country to accelerate policy actions that protect victims and hold offenders accountable.

A national network of supporters who raise money and work alongside Shared Hope to make these programs possible. Among the organization’s financial backers, one hundred percent are private donors, including 4,500 individuals and foundation support. Many of the individual donors have been with Shared Hope since day one.

Due to the increase in anti-trafficking work and organizations opening their doors, many of which Shared Hope provided training and support to, the organization saw a severe decline in the number of donors between 2014 and 2016. In order to survive as an organization, they urgently needed a strategy to restore these numbers. After a deep dive into donor profiles, the organization quickly recognized it needed tools to get to know donors better, strengthen relationships, and segment and target them with bespoke strategies. When their prior CRM wasn’t meeting their needs, Shared Hope turned to Salesforce. “Salesforce had just what we needed. Scalability. The ability to customize. As well as being able to have compatibility with a lot of other technologies that we wanted to use,” explains Marissa Gunther, Shared Hope’s Director of Growth Strategies.

Strengthening Relationships with Supporters

After transitioning their CRM to the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), Shared Hope started to strategize supporter outreach. As an organization, they wanted to raise awareness of their work and ways to contribute, maintain multi-year donors at a high retention rate, increase new donor acquisition, and re-engage lapsed donors.

Shared Hope began by segmenting donors in order to tailor communications and outreach. Staff have been able to build out a fuller picture of donor profiles with NPSP, including their history of engagement with Shared Hope. Different giving levels are associated with a targeted engagement plan and actionable daily task list that staff can review and complete. This segmenting has even helped staff become more hands on, enabling them to participate in phone campaigns to reach out and thank all of their donors through annual call campaigns. For individuals whose support has lapsed, a monthly email will highlight opportunities to re-engage with Shared Hope.

Personalized Donor Engagement with Pardot

These customized donor messages are organized and automated in Pardot’s Engagement Studio. In addition to targeting donors by giving level, Shared Hope can also curate communications around particular programs and interests. Supporters who are interested in policy work, for example, receive targeted emails about Shared Hope’s work and events around legislative initiatives. Onboarding new supporters has also improved. New contacts automatically receive a series of introductory emails describing Shared Hope’s work and opportunities to get involved. Thanks to segmentation, Shared Hope can create scripted outreach and build a foundation for conversations they weren’t able to have before. “We now have up to date information, and can be strategic about how we’re engaging and communicating with every single donor in our system,” remarks Gunther.

Shared Hope is now also able to collect important insights about their media strategy. Pardot tracks how individuals come to Shared Hope’s website through various media channels, which staff use to adjust and strengthen new name and donor acquisition strategies. Gunther says, “It’s been an awesome tool. Particularly in connecting with social media and being able to track name acquisition that way.”

Managing a National Volunteer Network with Salesforce

Shared Hope’s supporters extend beyond their donors to include over 1,000 volunteers, called Ambassadors of Hope, who provide prevention education to youth across 47 states. In order to manage such a large volunteer force, Shared Hope uses Volunteers 4 Salesforce (V4S) to track contact information, volunteer tasks, and hours. In addition, V4S builds a picture of volunteer networks – tracking new supporters that current volunteers bring in – and highlights opportunities in volunteers’ neighborhoods. “When you have 1,00 volunteers out in the community educating people, you need to have a system that’s simple,” remarks Gunther.

Shared Hope is also using their national network of supporters to amplify their work in legislative advocacy. Individuals who support Shared Hope’s campaigns can sign up to send preformatted tweets and emails to their local legislators through Phone2Action (an AppExchange application). Phone2Action is integrated to automatically import contact information for these supporters into Pardot- freeing up valuable time for staff members.

Growing the Network of Support with Salesforce

“Salesforce had just what we needed. Scalability. The ability to customize. As well as being able to have compatibility with a lot of other technologies that we wanted to use.”

Marissa Gunther | Director of Growth Strategies, Shared Hope International

 

Through the combined use of NPSP and Pardot, Shared Hope has gained a 360 view of its supporters- the improved tracking and insights have provided the organization an influx of new supporters. In 2017, Shared Hope added 20,000 new names to its distribution list with contacts gathered through Pardot. Single campaigns, including Shared Hope’s work to circulate petitions and information around the 2018 clemency case of Cyntoia Brown in Tennessee, gathered 4,500 names in just 6 months alone. New name acquisition increased 58 percent, while donor acquisition has also climbed- with mail solicitations adding nearly 800 new donors last year. Shared Hope’s more personalized and strategic outreach and engagement has certainly paid off, with funding jumping up 10 percent between 2017-18 and another 10.5% between 2018-2019.

Shared Hope staff and the Board of Directors have also reaped the benefits of newfound insights into donor segments and marketing strategy outcomes, available through the reports and dashboards on the platform. Moreover, it now takes only minutes for support staff to build these reports, compared to the hours previously spent gathering data before Salesforce. To help further build out its forward-looking strategy, Shared Hope has selected WealthEngine (an AppExchange product) to use donor profiles to project retention rates and target planned giving requests.

Focus on Building Relationships

The monumental work being accomplished by the small staff at Shared Hope is only possible with the help of their network and thus further improving retention and relationships remains the focal point going forward. Working in Pardot’s Engagement Studio, Shared Hope plans to expand marketing journeys based on supporters’ program interests. For the organization’s financial supporters, Pardot’s donor scoring will provide an opportunity for staff to further fine-tune outreach. Next up, Shared Hope is placing their focus on expanding critical programs, with future plans for staff to collaborate with national leaders and experts on training, legislative advocacy and policy work at Shared Hope’s Institute for Justice and Advocacy in Washington, DC. With their scope of working ever-expanding, Shared Hope is certain its strengthened relationship with their donor community will continue help them achieve their mission- to prevent, restore, and bring justice to the adults and children that have been victimized by sex trafficking.